Dome to Home: A Mad Hatter’s Jaunt Down Royal Wedding Lane

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Hello Magazine

Will and Kate’s wedding anniversary last Friday got me thinking about what caused the most wedding buzz five years ago (besides The Dress). It was, hands down, the headgear of the female guests.

Maybe the picture at left of Princess Beatrice (Will’s cuz) will jog your memory. She surely won the prize for the craziest hat of the bunch, though it does emulate (in hardscape) the neckline of her Valentino haute couture coat. How could you forget that one?

American women gave up wearing hats to formal and semiformal functions circa 1970. But hats and “fascinators,” an apt name for Beatrice’s topper, remain popular in the UK.

So what exactly is a fascinator? It’s a hat alternative, of course, usually attached to the head with a clip or a band, sporting a prominent decoration.

Sometimes fascinators have mini bases built in that make them resemble miniature hats, in which case they’re called “hatinators.”


I always enjoy doing “runway to room” posts to show how fashion and interior design intertwine, so why not “dome to home”?

Come with me on a walk down Royal Memory Lane, five years and a few days ago, for a retrospective of the headwear on the royal red carpet that glitzy day, as well as how all those chapeaus might translate into decorated space.

Feel free to steal any ideas for your own home (or head)!

Where wise elders meet both extremes

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I came up empty on rooms that go with the hats worn by either the Duchess of Kent or Queen Margrethe II of Denmark because I’m all out of Rose Quartz and Serenity, thanks to those shades being named 2016 Pantone colors of the year. Makes me wonder if these two ladies are psychic or maybe members of Pantone’s color intelligence council. How royal of them to be perpetually in style!

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PA/Rikki Snyder via Decoist

Beautiful Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, wife of then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, seems to be a woman in touch with her wild side. (Who else wears red to any wedding, let alone a royal one?) So I paired her with this foyer by Rikki Snyder Interiors. Love that zebra and arrows wallpaper, as well as the tiger pillow. I love her flamingo-colored flowers, too! This is my favorite topper of the bunch, based on contrariness alone. The UK press, alas, did not agree. Milliner Conchita designed the hat, while you can see more of her Miguel Palacio dress HERE.

Miriam is more than a pretty face. She’s a full-time lawyer and mother and started a food blog, Mum and Sons, on a dare from her boys. She hopes it teaches them not only how to cook but how to construct a blog. What a great idea. I knew I liked this woman from first glance.
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Via Room Decor Ideas, Getty

At the far other end of the spectrum color-wise, Sophie, countess of Wessex, opted for an understated headpiece of beige roses and subtle olive green netting by Jane Taylor. The dome-to-home room I’ve paired with it, though, is over-the-top in spite of being beige, because every buttoned-up girl longs to break out, right? The hide rug under all that gorgeousness was designed by Kyle Bunting. The rest of Sophie’s outfit, which we can’t see, was designed by Bruce Oldfield.

Blue on blue on teal

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Lovely Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece has “princess” down pat in a silvery-blue-rose hair bouquet designed by Philip Treacy, the doyenne of British milliners. The equally elegant boudoir she could have inspired was designed by Adriana Gerbig.

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The colors are a miss between this elegant bath and the hat Treacy designed for Princess Michael of Kent. But the swath of fabric swirling around the crown just called out “curvy staircase” to me, and this curvy staircase matches the princess in elegance.

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 Princess Mathilde of Belgium also wore a Treacy hat that matched her teal suit. It’s a gorgeous shade of one of my favorite colors but pales in comparison to the crown jewels she’s sporting. Wowza!! I thought her dome required an equally royal-looking home. Think of the tangerine, yellow and gold in the room at right as its fantabulous necklace, brooch and ear bobs.

Triple threat

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Reuters/Via Tidbits & Twine/Nina Proudlock via One Kings Lane/House Beautiful

So these are the daughters of the perennially unfaithful Earl of Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana. Amelia and Eliza are twins, and Kitty (right) is two years older, but they look like triplets to me. Something tells me their disposition runs more to the middle of this collage. Room-wise speaking, that is. Did they work out this pink-black-pink arrangement themselves? The suggestion of innocence has its own allure, as these rooms attest.

Dark, moody and a class above

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Zara Phillips (Princess Anne’s daughter) scored high marks in the British press in her black Treacy hat and silvery Paul Costelloe outfit. Her dome-to-home room has the same rich, elegant sheen.

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 Actress Sophia Winkleman—or Lady Frederick Windsor, as she’s often called—looks chez classique to me in her navy blue Treacy hat and elegantly cut suit. The British press compared the hat to a flying saucer, though. OUCH! Those guys are cruel! Especially since the hat is the very same shape as Princess Mathilde’s, only the crown is off-center. I happen to like the hat, and it reminded me of the abstract painting in this living room, which I also like. Take that, you tabloid ragsters!
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Getty/Emily Henderson

I’m not as optimistic about the hat chosen by Justine Thornton, fiancee of then-Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (they married a few weeks later). The hat’s not so bad on its own, but the dress is weird. It flounces like the hat but in much heavier fabric. Odd. And what’s that pleated ruff around her neck? Too weird for me. The mashup works in the room on the right, but not so much on Jus, though I will concede she has beautiful blue eyes, and the gorgeous indigo velvet shows them off. Off the runway, she’s an environmental lawyer.

The hat AND Jus would have been stunning with a simple, exquisitely tailored sheath in a matching color.

Does this woman kill the walkway or what?

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 She’s Tara Parker-Tomlinson, known for The Naughty Girl’s Guide to Life and all the acting-out it requires to write such a book. Call her a British “it girl.” Her parents are friends of Prince Charles and Camilla. The British press said her look was overdone—overly royal blue for the royal wedding. 

I think they just like to dis her. At the time, they seemed to be saying she was a bride wannabe, wearing too much  “something blue” to the wedding. Her “something new,” they said, was her nose, recently redone because it collapsed after years of snorting cocaine. Maybe she just wanted everyone to notice there’s no white powder on her now; she was reported even then as a recovering addict

Cut her some slack already! The dome-to-home room I chose for her looks veddy uptown British, designed by Mangrove & Co. of London.

Speaking of royals…

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Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, wore an Anna Valentine suit topped by yet one more Treacy hat. Her mom-in-law, the ever-stalwart Queen Elizabeth II, matched her butter yellow coat to a flower-embellished, brimmed hat by Angela Kelly, her senior dresser. This elegant yet welcoming bedroom of ticking and toile seemed to capture the hats of both women in one picture, just as the camera snapped them.

The only possible objection the queen might raise is that Toile de Jouy is essentially French (oh, and being photographed with her son’s true love, whom she prevented him from marrying in the first place, which would have saved everyone a lot of heartache and some people their life).

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And here’s Princess Anne, looking more and more like her mother every year, except Anne actually smiles. Come to think of it, it’s the smile that makes her look more like Eleanor Roosevelt than she does her mum. Her topper may be ultra-traditional, but the color is dreamy, like this romantic living room. You can get away with most anything in lavender.

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Princess Eugenie is the younger of Prince Andrew’s two daughters. (Queen E2’s children were Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward). And both she and big sister Beatrice are known to experiment with fashion—something that didn’t work out too well for either at the royal wedding, according to the press, though Treacy takes credit (!) for both hats. Well, she can always seek comfort in this comfortable study, where the royal blue and flower prints are used to great advantage.

I almost forgot to give a room to big sister Bea…

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 Not a color match admittedly, but the headboard and nightstands definitely nail the shape.

I hope you’ve had as much fun reading this retrospective as I did compiling it.

Which hat do you like best and least? Do any of them inspire your decorating? Give me the scoop in the comments. Tune in for more BoHo Home tomorrow, and follow my blog with Bloglovin.
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